that was then

hi guys, hope you’re winding down from a wonderful weekend. i’ve been going thru pics, reliving the days i got to do what i really love, shop the streets of paris! these shots are all from a brocante in the 17e my friend christine and i hit one sunday morning. you may already know but brocantes and vide greniers are neighborhood sales where residents set up on the street and have a group event, like a giant block party/yard sale. they’re fantastic cause you never know what you’ll find and get to see hoods you’d normally not go to. one new, fun trend is the pop-up. they’re shops that come in for the day if there’s a storefront that’s empty or for rent. i’m kind of going backwards with the pics but this is one that was there that day.

it was such a simple, pretty store. of course i wanted the doors.

from the outside you’d never know what was in there. truth is there wasn’t much, it was just what they did with the few things they had.

wish i got this for my balcony!

the whole street was buzzing with activity. i feel like i’m remembering a dream…

this flower store was on one side

and a super chic party was on the other.

i started to get into folksy art

looking back i regret what i didn’t get. ouch! that’s always a hard lesson to learn. if you love something, get it when you see it!

i’ll never cease to be amazed at the well preserved pieces whipped out at these events. the shoes are from the 30s and in perfect condition.

how is it that there are always trunks full of petticoats and cotton nighties from the 1800s?

i think i regret not getting her most of all (for my neice clare, of course)! well,  i got to enjoy a sunday stroll again and hope you did too! which weekend it was doesn’t really matter, does it?

if you’re in paris and looking for a brocante, check the dates with joel garcia here, or broc a brac here. Paris’ code is 75.

d’accord, that’s it for me c’est soir. bonne nuit!

October 10, 2011. Brocantes, Paris Flea Markets.


  1. Mademoiselle Poirot replied:

    Oh wow, this is such a nice collection of photos and it looks like there must have been more treasures than one could carry…it also looks slightly more sophisticated than most things like this in London ;-) xo


  2. Vicki Archer replied:

    This looks like my kind of Sunday Claudia….great goodies….xv


  3. Lisa finan replied:

    What a lovely email to wake up to. I will forward this gem on to my group and give you full credit. I am so with you. We think similarly when if comes to having been there, and then, coming home stateside. I hope to make my dream a reality as I am becoming an Italian citizen soon and I hope to live in Nice France once the kids go to college.


  4. Mom replied:

    I enjoyed that stroll in Paris on a Sunday morning.


  5. Karen Albert replied:

    Claudia a very special time indeed. So much to see! It WOULD be hard to decide what to bring home!


    Art by Karena


  6. Summer replied:

    Not much there but enough for me. I REALLY want those two doors leaning up against the wall!! in the first 3 photos. Fabulous.


  7. Jean replied:

    Oh, that was a cute doll, but don’t feel bad, because then you’d have to find a cute doll with brown hair for Fiona, or there would have been tears!

    I really want to go see your Paris! And how is it possible that those shoes look so good? Were they never worn?


  8. Robyn Parrish replied:

    Beautiful photos and you helped me re-live my recent trip to Paris! I got to attend a Sunday brocante in the 5e, near my hotel, and came home with a small bag of vintage jewelry. Memories to treasure forever! :) Robyn


  9. Carla Hall D'Ambra replied:

    Beautiful! I recently renovated my kitchen based on a trip to Paris in 2008.
    I believe I was a Parisian in another life! Thanks for creating an inspiring website…


  10. finberg replied:

    totally dreamy!!


  11. Dentelline replied:

    Hi Claudia,
    I Love these photos!
    Paris will always stay Paris!


  12. Dad replied:

    I love that Paris can still nearly make you swoon. I love that you are still able to recapture the magic and allure of this once fabled city that too many have become inured to in recent years. Your photos reflect your love of this still vibrant capital.


  13. curiousclareClare replied:

    Your neice has such a beautiful name! ;-p

    I’m in love with those doors in the pop-up shop – wow! So many beautiful things. It’s very hard to get such a variety of vintage beauties like that in Australia.

    ~ Clare x


  14. Merillion replied:

    Hi, Claudia –
    As always, a treat for the eyes!
    I liked that panel in 2nd photo that looks like magnolias. And those doors.
    I was wondering which painting you got – the seascape or the houses?


  15. designchic replied:

    What a perfect way to spend the day…would love to have been tagging along!!


  16. Fashion-isha replied:

    Hi Dear!
    I just found your blog and I’m in heaven…I love all things french! I will be here often and I am following! Hope you pop over to mine to say hi! Would love to keep in touch and maybe exchange links? Let me know….


  17. frenchblue replied:

    It must have been like a daydream for you! GOSH that chandy!!! It is great! How were the prices at these sales? Going next week! I Miss you and hope life is treating you in every way you deserve. Noel is married! She is so happy!


  18. Page replied:

    I have been pouring over your book again lately. I was wondering what kind of gold paint you used in the book to revive antique furniture. I’ve used gold paint before that has faded – and not in a good way.

    I love the pictures in this post and lament the days you are missing. My SIL recently took me to Italy and it is divine as well. I am actually so in love with Italy right now, but would love to visit France again one day (we toured France on bikes for our honeymoon) if we ever have the money again.

    I have a real French thing going in my home. I absolutely love French design. I painted our walls a beautiful soft golden yellow b/c our house is dark and I wanted to warm it up. I hope to be able to apply some of the paint techniques in your books someday.

    Are you still working on a new book? If you are ever in S. California, please keep my email so you can drop by for a cup of coffee. And I know the most delicious little French bistro. God bless you, Page


  19. Mrs Bok replied:

    Such a lovely blog you have here and these pics are terrific, I miss Paris!


  20. annie @ PlumSiena replied:

    We stumbled upon a few brocantes while we were in France. Excitement!

    One was in Giverny and it was like being in a candy store. The other was more basic, but a few gems were in hiding along the way. I just wish they were like that here in the US!


  21. Beadboard UpCountry replied:

    Hey Claudia!
    Thanks to you I can see all the pictures I didn’t get to take!!!!!!! I am backtracking through your blog to see more! Soo comfy cozy…. Love those vintage linens….. xo Maryanne


  22. Style Maniac replied:

    Even the yard sales are more chic in Paris! Looks like a lovely day.


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